TORONTO -- Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart, suffering from a sudden flare up of cellulitis on one of his hands, is headed back to Boston for treatment and will miss tonight's game here against the Maple Leafs.
According to Boston coach Claude Julien, the 25-year-old backliner will undergo treatment for the bothersome skin condition and possibly will be back in the lineup Monday night when the Bruins face the Caps in Washington, D.C.
Stuart's agent, Matt Keator, just confirmed over the phone that Stuart will be treated today back in the Hub and his condition is not considered serious.
''I talked to him last night and he said nothing about it,'' said Keator. ''But from what he told me today, it came on fast overnight. He went to the emergency room in Toronto--just a quick visit-and everyone figured the best thing was to get it treated right away. He doesn't think it's very serious. Good bet, I'd say, that he'll be back Monday night.''
Cellulitis is a skin infection that is typically treated with oral antibiotics. In severe cases, the antibiotics are sometimes administered via intravenous.
''Difficult for him to squeeze his stick,'' said Julien.
Stuart underwent hand surgery Feb. 1 for a broken finger, sustained Jan. 30 in Los Angeles, and missed seven games. It is believed the cellulitis is on the same hand.
Andrew Bodnarchuk, the 128th pick in the 2006 draft, will fill in for Stuart on the backline in what will be the 21-year-old's NHL debut. In 70 games at Providence this season, his second in the AHL, Bodnarchuk had 5 goals and 15 points.
''Unbelievable, big-time excited,'' said Bodnarchuk, thinking ahead to his first shift in The Show. ''Now it's sort of business time. When you start to play hockey as a kid, it's a dream, a goal to get here. I'll just keep it simple and try to help out any way I can.''
Bodnarchuk isn't sure, but it's possible his parents will travel over from Nova Scotia to see his first game.
''If they show up, it would be amazing,'' said the beaming defenseman. ''Toronto is such a hockey hotbed and this is going to be a national TV game--no better way to do it.''
Bodnarchuk is expected to wear sweater No. 65, the same that he has worn in two Boston training camps.